Nits and More

Still enjoying very much my Brooks Cambium C17 saddle.  Today I read in the manual that I can periodically reapply Brooks Numac.

Brooks Cambium Manual 07.30.15

Hmm.  The site says maintenance free.  No matter.  I love caring for things.  On it.  Wrote to Brooks early this morning.

I have recently purchased and installed a Cambium C17. Love it. Good show! I have even more recently read the literature which accompanied the saddle. Brooks Numac? Will the application extend the life of the saddle or simply preserve its appearance? If the former, where can Numac be purchased? Thank you in advance.

Got a very quick reply from Brooks.

We don’t sell Numac separately. It is something applied to the cotton during the manufacturing process.

I suggested they tweak their owner’s manual.  So no maintenance–that’s good, too.bgb

Bigger stuff.  Last night I attended the public hearing on traffic calming on Madison Avenue.  The presentation was great.  The Mayor kicked things off by saying the City used to undertake road projects with one thing in mind–getting cars into and out of the City as quickly as possible.  She continued by saying that things have changed–the needs of other road users needs are getting attention.  A hundred miles from a quote.  Just my feeble memory.  But I was stoked.  The room was packed with pedalers and the City was speaking to us.  The engineers said good things, too.  They really know their stuff and hit all the right points.

Then to the public comments.  Oh dear.  About half the people were strongly opposed to the project.  I expected opposition, but not as much as I heard.  Opposition, mind you, to a project that is a done deal–we were there only to discuss the form the project would take.  That didn’t stop them.

The concerns were in large part voiced by people living along Madison Avenue and included concerns like (a) fewer lanes will increase traffic congestion (b) the cost isn’t justified (b) safety vehicles will not be able to get through and (d) the City maintain doesn’t maintain the road as it exists.  I was reminded of concerns voiced in connection with every new rail trail project I’ve watched roll out.  Once the project is in place, the concerns evaporate and even turn into enthusiastic support as property values go up, new businesses appear because of the trail and people living alongside the facility benefit the most of all.  I hope that will be the case here.

Attendees were invited to vote on five alternative layouts.  They ranged from amenities as spartan as sharrows to amenities as robust as protected bicycle lanes.  I voted for protected bicycle lanes.  Not for me, I don’t mind riding on Madison as it is, but for the people that need the push to get out there.  I haven’t give enough consideration to that group in the past, but the engineers put up a chart showing the breakdown of the mindsets of pedalers and potential pedalers and the largest group by far is composed of people who are interested but nervous.  This is the group that would derive the most comfort from a  protected lane.  Fingers crossed but expectations kept low.

I was a surprised to learn that the traffic calming will not be completed in a single summer.  The project is only about a dozen blocks long and it the bulk of the work is simply restriping.  Still, a slide in the presentation showed the work being completed in three roughly equidistant phases.  Phase one starts at South Allen and continues for about four blocks.  They didn’t say when the next two phases would be undertaken, but even if they do a phase a summer, 12 blocks in three years seems a bit on the slow side.  Four blocks don’t seem long enough to gauge impact. Oh well.

After the meeting, I enjoyed speaking with a police officer who patrols on bicycle.  He seemed to be in terrific mood–the kind of mood that comes from exercising all day while soaking up vitamin D.  I asked him whether he is often close passed.  He said no, but pointed to the huge embroidered POLICE on the pack of his shirt.  He knows the rest of us pedalers put up with more, but said he didn’t think motorists want to scare us–they just don’t understand.  That’s where I am coming out lately.  So few have pedaled in traffic.  I should have asked whether he’s given any tickets for close passing, but didn’t get to it.

I also very much enjoyed a conversation with Greg from All Over Albany.  That fellow and his partner are gems.  Intelligent, soft spoken and they have a very broad outlook on the issues presented at the meeting (and I expect on most issues).  We’re lucky to have Greg and his team dishing up the goods on our fair city.  If you don’t read AOA daily, you’re missing out.


I’m hungry.  I’m thinking taco salad for lunch.  I’m crazy for taco salads of late. Better get on it.


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